Despite improvements, Edwards not lifting virus restrictions

COVID-19

By MELINDA DESLATTE and KEVIN McGILL

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says he’s keeping the state’s mask mandate, bar closures and other rules aimed at lessening the spread of COVID-19 in place for another two weeks. The rules were set to expire Friday. But the Democratic governor signed a new proclamation extending the provisions through Sept. 11. He made the announcement at a Wednesday news conference. The state on Wednesday reported 844 new cases and 33 more deaths. Hospitalizations fell to 914 from 930 the day before. Edwards has said the mask mandate and bar restrictions have helped shrink the number of new cases.